One of the most important things when it comes to safe and secure motorcycle braking is going to be maintenance on your rotors.
Now, rotors are made from steel, so they’re very hard; they’re very durable. But just like with your brake pad they are going to wear out over time. Now, your owner’s manual is going to give you tolerances, so you want to take your calipers; measure the thickness of your rotor. And if it’s too thin, then you want to get those changed out.
Now, because rotors have these cooling holes in the middle which help promote cooling, they’re actually going to wear unevenly, and typically, what will happen is you’re going to get a disc shape on each side of your rotor. And when rotors get too thin, well, they heat up faster and actually start to warp. And if your rotors are warping you’re not going to have as good braking, so that’s really important to measure those. Swap them out if they are too thin. You can get the right parts via motorcycle importers.
Now, another cool tip that we have when it comes to your rotors is what we call deglazing them. When your brakes are getting really hot, what can happen is the material from your brake pads can actually transfer onto the rotor, which reduces friction, and you want as much friction as possible. That’s going to give you the most stopping power.
So what we like to do is when we take our rotor, we just take a Scotch-Brite pad, and you’re just going to scrub your rotors. You don’t need to go crazy and press as hard as you can; you’re just going to scrub your rotors. And then once you’ve done that, you’re going to take some brake cleaner, you’re going to spray your rotors off, and then you’re going to wipe them down with a clean rag.
Now, you can use a white rag; that way you can see the residue coming off. But you’re just going to spray them down. You’re going to wipe them down until all the residue is off, and that’s just going to give you a nice clean surface on the rotor and also for your brake pads.
And that’s really going to help keep that braking power as strong as possible. So that’s one our most important pieces of advice when it comes to optimizing motorcycle braking — it’s maintenance on your rotors.